an image

George H. Carley

George H. Carley, 1979-1993
Chief Judge: 1989-1990

Justice George H. Carley of Decatur was born in Jackson, Mississippi on September 24, 1938 to George L. Carley, Jr. and Dorothy Holmes Carley. He moved to Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia in 1948. He graduated from Decatur High School in 1956 and received his A.B. degree from the University of Georgia in 1960. He also received his LL.B. degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1962. While at UGA, Carley was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, and Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity.

After being admitted to the Bar in 1961, Carley practiced law briefly in Atlanta. From 1963 until his appointment to the bench, Carley engaged in the private practice of law in Decatur. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives in 1966. He was partner in charge of litigation with the Decatur firm of McCurdy & Candler 1971-1979. He was the attorney for the Housing Authority of the City of Decatur. He served as a Special Assistant Attorney General handling Eminent Domain cases for the DOT. Carley was appointed to the Court of Appeals of Georgia by Governor George D. Busbee on April 5, 1979, and was elected to a full six-year term in 1980. He was reelected at the 1986 and 1992 General Elections. He served as Chief Judge 1989-1990 and was a Presiding Judge 1991-1993. On March 16, 1993, Governor Zell Miller appointed him to the Supreme Court of Georgia. He was elected to a six-year term in 1994 and reelected at the 2000 General Election.

Justice Carley was a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, the American Bar Association, the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, the Old Warhorse Lawyers Club (President 1997) and the Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court (President 1993-1995). He was a member of the University of Georgia Law School Association Council from 1986 to 1991 (President 1989-1990). He served on the Law School's Board of Visitors from 1993 to 1996 (Chairman 1995-1996) and served his second term from 2001 to 2004. He was a Trustee of the Georgia Legal History Foundation, Inc. and was a member of the Judicial Council from January 1, 1987 to December 31, 1990. Carley was a member of the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution 1993-2001. He was Chairman of the Georgia Law Related Education Consortium (1994-1995). He was actively involved with the Georgia and National High School Mock Trial Competitions. He was a member of Pythagoras Lodge No. 41, F.&A.M. and of the Atlanta Consistory of the Scottish Rite. He is a former member of and past Exalted Ruler of Decatur Lodge 1602 B.P.O.E. He served on the Board of Directors of Decatur Federal Savings & Loan Association from 1986 to 1993. He was a member of the Decatur Rotary Club and a communicant of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur. He married Sandra M. Lineberger of Macon in 1960, and they had one son, George H. Carley, Jr. and two grandsons, George Matthew Carley and Alex William Carley.

Former Chief Justice George H. Carley passed away on November 26, 2020.